CORE Kidney honors donors and recipients with special 'Gift of Life' Rose Parade float

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Friday, December 29, 2023
CORE Kidney's Rose Parade float honors donors and recipients
This year's kidney-shaped float honors kidney donors like ABC7's Phillip Palmer, who donated a kidney to his friend Dale 17 years ago.

PASADENA, Calif. (KABC) -- Work is being done to finish UCLA's CORE Kidney float for this year's Rose Parade.

The patient and advocacy group hopes the float will help raise awareness of kidney disease and the importance of health screenings.

"It's a simple blood and urine test available at any commercial lab," said Dr. Anjay Rastogi, who adds that only 1 in 10 people know they have kidney disease.

"So 9 out of 10 don't now they have kidney disease because it's silent," he said. "It's asymptomatic and by the time they find out, it's often too late to do too much about that."

CORE Kidney's float, which was constructed by Phoenix Builders, will center around the theme, "The Gift of Life: A Tune That Never Fades."

This year's kidney-shaped float honors living kidney donors like ABC7's Phillip Palmer, who donated a kidney to his friend Dale 17 years ago.

"I forget sometimes that I donated a kidney because my health is fine. My friend is doing well," Palmer said. He hopes the float shows people watching there's life after a tough situation.

"If you have a diagnosis that might seem like it's going to be the end of something, it's really not. If you find the right people like CORE, it can be a beginning," Palmer said.

Also, kidney recipients like Manette Zumwalt will be honored.

She'll be riding on the float in honor of her father, who suffered from kidney disease. Zumwalt believes kidney donations are the biggest gift a human being can give to another person.

"Just to be on this float with other donors, living angels, and other recipients and people struggling with kidney health is such an important thing to see on January 1 to start our new year," Zumwalt said.

Rastogi announced 2024 will be Kidney Health Awareness Year.